Doris Duke Charitable Foundation International Clinical Research Fellowship

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) International Clinical Research Fellowship program for medical students is a one-year mentored clinical research opportunity designed to span a broad range of research extending from bench laboratory science to clinical and translational science, epidemiology and outcomes research. We define clinical and translational research as research designed to address a question of clinical importance. The program is designed to be flexible and will be tailored to meet the needs of each student.

UCSF offers excellent resources for student researchers:

  • Medical centers that serve different segments of the San Francisco Bay Area population
  • Over 60 organized research units (ORUs) centered on specific diseases and populations; access to a wide variety of local, state-wide and national databases and research cohorts
  • Excellent graduate programs in basic research

Program Structure

The International DDCF program is structured to support each fellow’s individual goals and needs for research career development. Fellows are required to attend a one week training at the NIH in early July, and then take courses at UCSF or other tailored experiences over the summer, before leaving for their international site. Students are required to take a UCSF online Global Health course, as well as courses around research issues or skills, with input and approval from their mentors and the program directors. Some examples of courses available at UCSF include:

During the course of the year, DDCF ICRF fellows can participate in the UCSF Yearlong Inquiry Program works in progress sessions (via Skype or by sending a powerpoint presentation with a voiceover recording, then joining us by phone.)

During the last two months of the program, students will begin preparing a written report and oral presentation of their work. Final oral presentations are required to be given at a national DDCF meeting usually in early June. There is also an option to present at the UCSF student research Symposium, and dissemination at academic or other scholarly conferences or venues is encouraged.


An annual stipend of $29,000 is provided to each DDCF/CRF fellow. In addition, funds are available to support research and travel.

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Application Process

To apply to the UCSF Doris Duke Charitable Foundation International Clinical Research Fellowship (DDCF ICRF), interested students MUST complete A) the Doris Duke Common Application on-line and B) the DDCF supplemental application for UCSF. UCSF medical students must also have their main mentor complete the mentor endorsement form (C). These elements are described in detail below.

UCSF students should keep in mind that RAPtr application doesn’t include the Doris Duke funding application. UCSF students interested in completing international research should strongly consider completing the RAPtr application AND the Doris Duke application described above.

UCSF medical students desiring the Doris Duke ICRF program are also welcome to apply to the other medical schools where this program exists. See more information on the national Doris Duke Charitable Foundation ICRF. Students are not penalized for applying to more than one school.

Please note: No applicant interviews will be conducted.

A. Doris Duke Application Requirements:

See details on the Doris Duke website.

B. UCSF Supplemental Application Requirements:

The online supplemental application form is REQUIRED and must be received by the deadline shown above in the Application Deadlines and Materials box.

  • Research Plan Title (should not exceed 255 characters, including spaces)
  • Research Plan Summary (should not exceed 250 words, or approximately 1/3 of a single spaced page)
  • Research Proposal (limited to 2,100 words or less or approximately three single-spaced pages. The plan should be divided into three sections: a) Research question, b) Background, and c) Study design) (You should work closely with your mentor on writing the research plan).
  • Research Plan Citations (should not exceed 700 words, or approximately one single-spaced page)

C. Mentor Endorsement:

This portion of the supplemental application form must be completed by the main proposed mentor of non-UCSF students by the deadline. An application that does not include the mentor endorsement form will not be considered complete and will not be considered for funding.

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